Pumpkin, meet Butter Cake

Hello!

I’ve missed you all sooooooo much!

45 hr of work+ nursing school = when the heck do I get to blog?

I have finished up another semester of working towards my BSN, and am on Winter Break. Alleluia! But despite that equation of little sleep, a girls still gotta eat, right? So no worries, my blog family. I’m still a cooking machine!

Last year, I brought bourbon-spiked sweet potato casserole to the table. This year, I’m still keeping it orange.

There is a bakery I grew up on in Philly called Stock’s Bakery. The sticky buns, danishes, and donuts are massive. Every Easter, Grandmom gets pound cake for everyone.

But… on special occasions, we get butter cake. Not like Betty Crocker butter cake… BUTTER CAKE!

How in the world can I make this decedent, guilty pleasure? I’ve asked the universe since I was a wee one.

When I was younger, Stock’s would sell out of butter by noon. If we remembered, we would call and reserve it. It is nothing fancy to look at:

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All Photo Credit: Stock’s Bakery Facebook

 

Off-white, cracked surface, in a shallow metal tin, wrapped in wax paper. The End.

Then you cut into it, and as you remove your knife from the pan, you watch this gooey, creamy filling mask the metal of the cutlery. This thin square you have just cut is melt-in-your-mouth heaven!

Oh my goodness, I think I’m drooling on my keyboard.. Oops!

Then, last year, on one of my Cooking Channel binders, I saw Bobby Deen make a lighter version of his Mama’s Gooey Butter Cake. Game on, Bobby, game on. After reviewing his recipe, I cut it back a bit more using applesauce, liquid egg substitute, and a reduced fat cream cheese. (I can’t believe cream cheese is the secret!) But then October hit.

It’s Pumpkin Season!!!

Then November rolled around, and suddenly, it’s Thanksgiving! The family has been in a funk over the past year, and getting even funkier, but with my own apartment, now, and a dad and an uncle so close to me, it was my turn to have my very first thanksgiving!

On the Menu:

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NOT sharing

 

  • Rosemary and apricot glazed turkey breast
  • Bourbon-Spiked Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Roasted Thyme and Lemon Veggies
  • Cranberry sauce made from scratch
  • The last of the beloved Grandmom Thanksgiving Stuffing from the freezer
  • Turkey gravy
  • Spinach Roll (A Wilmington institution, Serpe’s Bakery, caught fire last year and had to close. They reopened and we had to get a slice of tomato pie. While there, Dad mentioned how difficult it must be to make their spinach and pepperoni rolls. I accepted the challenge. I think he knew I would, that sneaky old man!)

But it isn’t quite Turkey Day without…

Turkey… duh..

No, dessert!

With pumpkin on the brain, the warming scent of cinnamon air that fills the season, and a partial (very large) can of pumpkin in the fridge, the gears began-a-turning…

When I made Bobby’s cake, the “crust” was much thicker than Stock’s. Ok, let’s cut that back. Flavor was there, but… Ok, let’s “Fall” this thing up!

 Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

10-16 slices

The Cake

  • ½ package of carrot cake or spice cake- cake mix
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp lemon juicepump
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, maybe pumpkin

The Gooey

  • 8oz fat free cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin, NOT pie filling
  • ¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp light buttery spread (like Blue Bonnet light, or Country Crock light)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup powdered/confectioners sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all cake ingredients well. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan or square pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat the filling ingredients, slowly incorporating the powdered sugar. Pour over the cake batter and smooth the surface.

Bake 30-35 minutes, and allow it to rest and cool.

 

Optional: Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Why? Just because.

Nutrition (1/16):

Calories: 100, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 2.2mg, Sodium: 192.6mg, Carbs: 19.8g, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugars: 12.8g, Protein: 3g

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It is a rich cake, so with a bit of whipped cream, 1/16 is quite guiltlessly satisfying. But be my guest to cut a bigger piece… You’ll want to! 

Daniel was invited to a co-worker’s house at his new base, for which I was very thankful. I think he was super excited, too, because he baked three pies to take with him! Yeah, he bakes! Crazy, right?!

So after some good company, yummy food, a glass of wine, and a slice of Fall heaven, it was time to relax.

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The following day, I was back in the kitchen! I baked ALL day! I may or may not have raided the discount rack at the farmers market and bought like 20lb of apples….

You’d think after baking 2 apple pies, 3 batches of cookies, and about 10lb of apples worth of applesauce, I’d be exhausted, right?

I could not pass up the invitation to catch up with my friends at Tim and Tori’s house! I went to high school with both of them, and now they are engaged! Timmy was my first crush in high school and Tori is one of my bridesmaids.

I walked into Timmy and Tori’s house to see a kitchen of my high school crushes! Some of them I haven’t seen since high school graduation! It was like we never parted! Hugs and laughs the whole night! It was absolutely fantastic and just what I needed to break away from the stress, monotony, and isolation of being a working student.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, surrounded by love and laughs!

Mean and Green

I spent the remainder of last night awake! I didn’t fall asleep until 130am or so. Oh well! At least I came up with delicious ideas for this week’s meals. It began this morning with a change of pace from my usual shake. It was also a good morning, as I was able to sense hunger, again!

I’ve been craving quinoa for weeks now, but with the madness going on in my head, I couldn’t get myself to eat it. Alas, I microwaved Amy’s Light & Lean Quinoa & Black Beans bowl. Meanwhile, I whipped up some egg whites, for myself, and a sunny-side up, for Frank! Frank and I really enjoyed this. We are both huge fans of black beans! Plus, we got a boost of protein and fiber bright and early to start our week! Yum!

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WP_003806I’ve planned today to see green! Not as in envy, but as in E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!!!! Eagles/ Redskins game baby! Dad and I are all about the green, but mom won a bet at work like 20 years ago on a Skins game, and has been a fan ever since. Silly woman!

To get on my game face, I whipped out my Eagles jersey to rock for a day of errands.

After unpacking the groceries, I make another batch of Bundo Broccoli Salad, since the first batch went so quickly neither Frank nor Barry got a taste.

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Afterwards, I was feeling tired but couldn’t sense if it was due to a lack of eating. After all, it was 2pm and I ate my filling breakfast around 10am. I decided to whip up a super green shake! Its one of my favorites!

Pistachio Ice Cream Shake:

  • WP_0038121 Tbsp sugar free fat free Pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 to 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • lots of spinach!
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • water
  •  ice
  • shelled, unsalted pistachios (optional)
  • xanthum and/or guar gum (optional)

After my last few shake bowls, I’ve rediscovered my love for ground flax and chia seeds, so to play off the nuttiness of the pistachios I added both to today’s bowl!

This held me over for hours! I attempted a nap before Zumba, and, sadly, it just didn’t happen. When I got up after an hour, my mom took one look at me and said, “You look tired. I don’t think you should go to Zumba.” I felt guilty not going, since I didn’t go last week, but I truly was tired. I then spent the next few hours working on a new recipe for you!

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try, again. Although, I wasn’t hungry, mom was and we kicked off our first Monday Night Football of the the 2013-2014 season!

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I prepared a plate of crudites, featuring scallions, sugar snap peas, green beans, celery, and baby carrots. I served it with Honey Mustard, blue cheese dressing, and PB. We split one of my favorite personalized pizzas, VitaPizza Cheese and Tomato. Mom and  I also split a strawberry daquari, topped with a dollop of fat free Cool Whip.

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I was not hungry, tonight, but had tons of nervous energy and filled up on veggies. No harm in that…

After the Eagles started kicking some serious butt, mom went into a sore mood and said, “That’s it. I’m going to bed.” I, now, find myself, here, with you, reminiscing and working on yet another new recipe for you.

Sweet Green Dreams!

Nurse Cake

WP_003707As my night shift was coming to an end, my stomach began to growl around 5am. I ignored this feeling the best I could. Around 530, I caved to a sugar free fruit cup. So sue me. A 45 calorie, sugar free fruit cup is whats going to upset me? This is ridiculous.

Around 6am, some nurses began to feel the hunger. Some toast english muffins, other trail mix, but it helps me to know that I am not the only one that gets thst end of shift hunger, and it makes me feel even better to know that I made a light and wise choice of food.

Arriving home about 2 and half hours later, the 45 calorie fruit cup had worn off. I snacked on half a slice of the left over Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza, another 45 calories. How can I hate myself for that? Its like I ate a 90 calorie snack bar, but instead of it being cereal and granola based, it was fruit and veggies! Get with the program, Sammy!

I stood in the shower, praying, deep breathing, almost like I was trying to wash the eating disorder and anxiety away. I finally laid down and slept until about 4pm, Thursday (8/29)

WP_003710I woke knowing I needed to eat despite my current feelings about my body. I went with a Dannon Light&Fit Greek Key Lime yogurt and topped it with some Special K Protein cereal. Although the cereal didn’t add loads of pizzazz of flavor to the yogurt, I enjoyed the crunch and texture, and the added feeling of being full. I paired it with a large glass of sparkling water.

The remaining afternoon was spent wallowing in my own depression, laying on the couch, curled under a blanket, until Barry came over after he was done work. He spent a few hours with Frank and me watching movies. I know it wasn’t the way he hoped to spend his evening, but it was nice to have the moral support.

My dad expressed some more concern about me today. I can’t help the way I feel. The last 3 days, I have not eaten more than 600 calories. Frank suggested this could be a reason why I’ve been so tired lately. I was in the bathroom and looked at myself. All I could see, at first, was my stomach. I kept poking at at it like it was somehow pop like a balloon and deflate. I went to the scale that read 131 lbs. I like that number. I went back to the mirror to figure out why the number just didn’t seem match the body. I stared long and hard and realized that my face was beginning to thin out, again.

With an annoying headache, which I suspected to be from low blood sugar, I stir-fried some bok choy and mushrooms in 1/2 Tbsp of low sodium teriyaki sauce,1 tsp chili garlic sauce, and a splash of water. It was filling and helped rid of my headache, which was definitely what I needed before going to work.

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I headed to work, coffee in hand, still feeling like I was dragging. Its funny how as soon as I walk onto the unit, I change. I’m so lucky that I am one of those blessed people that loves their job and the people they work with! Speaking of which…

These ladies I work on night shift with completely took me by surprise! After finishing the first rounds of my 8 hour shift, I went to the break room to grab a drink. As I opened the door, the nurses were setting up a party… for Heather and me in honor of us passing our boards!

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The first thing I saw was the cake and covered my instant terror with a smile, saying, “You guys are so sweet!” They even got gluten free goodies for Heather! But then, I saw the veggie platter and salsa and fruit bowl. Heather mentioned that she could tell I had lost weight and that she was worried about me. Heather is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I would love if Heather and I both got the newly available nursing positions for our unit.

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WP_003717After finishing up some rounds, I decided theres no harm in enjoying fruits and vegetable. An the the veggies with salsa! MMM so garliky! I continued to snack on the goods all night and even had the hot and sour soup I brought with me. I was stuffed by 3 am and stayed that way! I felt great! Like I had been revitalized! Suddenly, although I was full, I felt invigorated and was on a roll at work! I love that Heather was so honest with me. You know what? I even had a bite of cake. I’m not a cake fan, but ShopRite done good! The night shift crew put a good hurtin on the cake and fruit!

The shift ended strong and confidently and I cant wait to hit the sheets!

Record Breaking

I woke up this morning bright eyed, and bushy tailed! Maybe its because I slept with the windows open last night and the fresh air was enlightening?

Spring decided to to skip this year and summer is upon us! Today, Wilmington broke records! We hit 90 degrees today! And it was beautiful!

I began this morning, by making a Kahlua shake before heading to class:WP_002061

2 scoops chocolate protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1 Tbsp sugar free DaVinci Kahlua flavoring

handful of spinach

water

ice

After class, I had a little over an hour to kill before my graduation seminar. (Isn’t that awesome to say? “Graduation!”)  It was so beautiful outside, I sat out in the courtyard with a friend and studied for tomorrows exam.

Beautiful weather, like this makes studying so much more difficult! I just want to walk around outside, ride a bike, anything but keep my nose in a book!

With this malted milk ball kick that I’ve been on, I found Reese’s Whoppers, malted milk balls in a peanut butter coating! You can bet your bottom they were awesome!

Dinner and brain food was seasoned roasted vegetables topped with an egg over easy! Yum!

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Dessert was some more brain food. Dad got me Quaker Blackberry Pomegranate rice cakes. I dipped these in some chunky PB and woah did it taste like PB&J! Heck yes!

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Sweat It Out

Bet you thought this would include some awesome workout, huh? On the contrary…

The worst part about feeling under the weather, is my absolute lack of motivation! I don’t want want to stay awake or work on my projects, let alone work out. So the rest of the night was spent attempting to finish up some of this school work!

While on the phone with pops last night, I asked for him to decided today breakfast shake… He seemed adamant about cherries. So I took out a Dannon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurt. On a side note, I like to buy yogurt when its really cheap and freeze it. I use these in my shakes.. it adds to the thickness of the shake, like using ice cream… Anyway, the following went into the bullet:

1 Dannon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurtWP_001496

1 oz frozen cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

handful of raw, unsalted almonds

handful of kale

ice

I was going to use my almond butter, but when digging in the freezer for the yogurt, I saw this out of the corner of my eye… it had to be done…

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I spent my day with dad at his office. I knew I’d get work done if I was not home. It was a nice day seeing dad in action. To help nurse this… whatever congestion thing is going on with me… dad pulled out this nifty Cup of Soup instant soup packet. As much as I’m not a fan of these because of sodium content, it was just what I needed! That and another mug of hot tea!

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A little school work was completed but mostly I watched Hallmark movies and ate Chinese food. Yes, we ordered out again. Frank was so impressed with my dinner last night that he wanted it for himself tonight. So he ordered that and I ordered the veggies with chicken. Woah baby, that was a lot of chicken! There’s just something about eating all those veggies and protein that just makes ya feel good! Mmmm I also ate a big bowl of hot and sour soup, my favorite Chinese soup to help me feel better. I think it worked since half way through it, I took off my robe from sweating! That’s the way I like it!
Hot and sour soup has always been of of those foods I’d love to make but never got around to doing.

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(Not) Down with the Sickness

Did you know March is National Noodle Month? Neither did I.. but it worked out that I brought a noodle dish for dinner last night. Last night I brought Smart Ones Shrimp Marinara and bulked it up with some Fettucine Tofu Shiritaki Noodles and broccoli. I’m glad I spiced it up a bit. The shrimp was a little chewy, also. I don’t see myself getting this one again…

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Eating was pretty decent last night, thank God! I got all my work done so quickly that in my down time I watched a lecture! Woo Hoo!

I have sooo much work to do this weekend! I need to kick some serious butt.

Today came with sleep deprivation, stress, but uber excitement! I was watching my goddaughter today! It has been so long since I’ve seen her and she got to play with all her Christmas presents over here!

Before I picked her up, I made dad and myself a cup of coffee. I also whipped up last night’s smoothie for dad, while I enjoyed a little sweeter Apple Crunch shake:WP_001432

1/2 frozen apple, cubed

1Tbsp toffee bits

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

ice

water

1/8 tsp xanthum

I loved having Kinley over! She is so smart! She shocked me when she grabbed a coaster and put her cup on it, or at lunch when she out her napkin on her lap! She only a year and a half! My baby girl is a genius!

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Isn’t she beautiful?

But I have to say, I felt exhaustion kick in around 11am. Luckily, mom said she would watch Kinley while I took a power nap! I haven’t seen my mom with this much energy in a long time! I woke up with a bit of a scratch throat. Oh no! I can not be getting sick! I immediately brewed up some ginger and lemon tea and shot back a glass of Airborne. It was only a matter of time until the stress of the past few weeks, plus working with kids with respiratory illnesses, caught up with me. Fingers crossed- I’ve nipped this in the bud!

Right as we arrived back at Kinley’s house, she was passed out! And I had worked up quite an appetite! Frank, my step dad, called while I was out at the supermarket picking up a few things and asked if I wanted Chinese food. I LOVE Chinese food! On the occasion  I’ll make it from scratch, but I had been wanted Chinese food for the past few weeks, and, hey, he was treating! I opted for one of my favorite and more health conscious choices: Steamed Vegetables with Shrimp, and a side of garlic sauce! This meal NEVER disappoints! I love the sweet and spicy bite of the garlic sauce, the protein from the shrimp (no meat of Fridays), and the fresh, crisp, crunch of the veggies. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, “I just don’t know how these places get their veggies so perfectly steamed!” (My stepdad always gets the ribs, so I had to sneak in one of those!)

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The immediate dessert was, duh, a fortune cookie. Later, it was a salty sweet favorite: 94% fat free Kettle Corn popcorn and nutella drizzle!

The remainder of the evening is going to be spent ATTEMPTING to watch renal failure lectures, without falling asleep (I’m in desperate need of solid sleep!) and winding down with some chamomile and honey tea.

Roasted Vegetables: Crock Pot Recipe #7

Wednesday:

I went to class this morning and while waiting, enjoyed a Muller Mousse Parfait. A girl I’m in clinical with loves these, so I gave it a try.

WP_001225I tried the peach passion fruit, figuring if I was going to try something, I might as well try the most exotic sounding. I topped it with both ground flax and chia, and it was delicious and filling! I only have one complaint: way too much sugar! Seriously, it had a whole days worth of sugar in it!

After this cardiac cram session, I hit the gym. I had a full workout planned but as I was doing it, I realized I was not going to be able to complete it, if I needed to get some sleep for night shift. I only worked out for an hour or so. I was so bummed when that I had to leave. Have you ever been so into your routine, you just didn’t want to stop. Seriously, even the shuffle on my iPod just kept giving me great songs to power up to!

I hit the sheets when I got home, unfortunately  only getting about 2 hours of sleep for my 12 hour shift. I made something that was LONG overdue: a shake. Iv’e been checking up on this blog I found and she made a shake that sounded delicious, so I gave it a go. The following was whipped up:

handful of kaleWP_001227

handful of frozen, pitted dark cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

half a frozen banana

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

and lots of ice!

Pretty darn tasty… Actually, dad asked me to make him one for Thursday morning!

WP_001228Thursday:

Over the course of the long night, I did some pretty wise snacking choices, suck as graham crackers, sugar free pudding, and 94% fat free popcorn. I have to same, though, my favorite meal of the night, was the Raisin and Spice Oatmeal. I stirred in a little PB, and mmmmmm good!WP_001231

After I got home, I started preparing the crock pot. Tonight’s recipe is in preparation for tomorrow’s dinner (I can’t wait!)

Once all the ingredients were in the crock, I sat down to finish some homework and enjoyed a nice bowl of Banana Nut and Peanut Butter Cheerios, a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee with some sugar free french vanilla powdered creamer and a few dark chocolate covered espresso beans to keep me going for the day!

Katie loves crock pots too and I remembered a while back she posted about roasting vegetables in a crock pot. Being the sucker for veggies that I am, I starting thinking up ways to use these veggies. Over rice? with sausage? In a pita? The possibilities are endless! Needless to say, I hit up the discount produce shelf…

Roasted Crock Pot Veggies

2 bell pepper (I like using colors)WP_001233

3 cloves garlic, slivered

half an onion, sliced in rings

a few baby portabellos

1 large carrot stick, sliced into very thin coins

handful of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

1 small eggplant, sliced to 1/4 in thick

spices, to taste

Prepare all the vegetables, adding or subtracting vegetable that you enjoy, and toss them in the crock pot. Season, cover, and cook.

The original recipe calls for oil, but instead, I just gave the top of the veggies a quick spray with some non-stick pray and few shot a liquid aminos. I couldn’t find my Italian seasoning in the cupboard, so I used some granulated garlic, black pepper, parsley, oregano, and basil, and gave it all a nice toss.

WP_001235Cover the pot and look on low, stirring occasionally.

During class, I was starting to sense some hunger creeping up on me. I looked around the room, and wouldn’t you know like four people were chopping on protein bars! AHHHH! I knew this would be tough!

When I got home from class, the house smelled like a warm garden… fresh veggies in the air! I hustled into the kitchen to give them a stir and a try. I was so happy with how they turned out! The carrots were just the right consistency  the onions became translucent  the peppers and mushrooms cooked down, the tomatoes got soft and sweet, the eggplant absorbing all the flavors…

I had some leftover turkey sausage to I put a little in a tortilla with some veggies and I was in heaven! This most definitely will be a meal another night.WP_001237

As for tonight’s dinner, I was jonesing for a Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger, and mom was really eyeing up the chili. My creation was a chili dipped burger! YUM! I snacked on some mixed fruit for dessert!

Over all, the last 24 hours was pretty decent with food… only a few minor binges.

After meeting up with Mike to finish our assignment, I tried to squeeze in a workout before being detained in nursing labs for 3 hours. I was able to squeeze in the following workout, based off of Julie’s Beat Boredom Interval Workout:

Weights:

Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 set 53 lbs
Tricep Extensions 15reps 4 sets 20 lbs
Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 sets 53 lbs

Elliptical:

0-10 min 11 resistance
10-1230 13
1230-15 14
15-20 11

Repeat Weights

Treadmill:

1-5 minutes 4.2 speed 8 incline
5-630 7 1
630-8 5 1
8-10 4.2 1

Now, I ready to crash, wake up refreshed, workout, watch some lectures, and cook you all a wonderful Friday Lenten dinner!Even though, I was totally sleep deprived, I did not want to leave. These last two days I’ve really been in the workout zone!

V Day

V- Day…. Sounds an awful lot like D-Day, doesn’t it?

I’m really not that cynical when it comes to February 14th. I’m just not too pleased with the result of my exam today. In fact, I came home thinking I did pretty well, checked my grade, and dug into to PB for emotional support.

So I met my girlfriends at Dunkin, as I do every test morning and enjoyed a small coffee and oatmeal. I ate Better Oats Fit Cinnamon Bun oatmeal. It really hit the spot! Before the exam, popped my Russell Stover’s sugar free Mint Pattie.

Apparently, the grades of the exam were all over the place! Luckily, I had my valentine dinner to look forward to.

My Valentine

My Valentine

Valentine’s Day is the one day a year, dad and I make sure we get to eat steak! We headed to Texas Road House! YUM!

I love the sweet rolls and cinnamon butter (no matter how high the calories are)!WP_001154

Dad can’t resist the onion blossom.

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Me? I love picking out my own steak! I got the

Dallas filet with some amazingly bright and crisp streamed vegetable and a side  salad.

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Dad got the country-fried steak with a side salad and bleu cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Thats okay. I make Lamb”

Today is Ash Wednesday. I like to go to Church as a family, so I waited until my dad got home from work to attend mass to receive Ashes. I love my Church. It does not matter what time of the year it is, it is always beautiful. And a few years ago, we got a new Priest and he was there for me throughout my recovery. The congregation is a great group, always looking out for one another. Did I mention I love my Church?

Breakfast was new to me: Chobani’s Passion Fruit low fat Greek yogurt with seed.

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I headed to campus to attend SIPN ( I forget what it stand for).

“What do you mean you don’t eat no meat? Thats okay. I make lamb.” ~My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Since we don’t eat meat on Ash Wednesday or on Fridays during lent, I was pretty excited to try out my new Amy’s Bowl. I had heard this bowl was pretty great and I love teriyaki, so I said bring it on! Amy’s Teriyaki Bowl contains brown rice, firm tofu, and carrots, water chestnuts, and broccoli. To spread this dish into two servings, I added Green Giant Teriyaki vegetables, along with the remaining broccoli slaw I had in the refrigerator.

It was super delicious and simple!

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Plus, I got dad to eat tofu!

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I’ve been studying all day with the exception of 2 hours (1 of exercising and 1 of Church). Despite all of my studying, I still don’t feel like I know it all. I think maybe a good sleep and a cramp in the AM is what I need.

I like to snack when I’m studying… I think its nervous energy. I popped a 100 calorie popcorn. I learned that I should not be aloud to pop popcorn because it was  completely burnt. I tried to salvage it by whipping up some Chocolate PB2.  It turned out half decent, but it just wasn’t enough to cover the burnt. So Beauty got the popcorn. After hitting the cupboard and doing some mindless snacking, I finally found the perfect snack.

crunchy Sunbutter and fat free pretzel sticks

crunchy Sunbutter and fat free pretzel sticks

Some dry Kashi Berry Blossom cereal.

Wish me luck.

Bye-Bye Bars

Happy Fat Tuesday! My exciting plans, while girlfriends are enjoying wine and chocolate? Writing a paper and studying my butt off with some exercising thrown in there.
I took control of the clinical manager position in clinical today and I think I did pretty well. The gears were definitely turning as I examined the pathophysiology of my patients. I welcomed lunch times, which was pretty tasty for being a canned soup: Progresso’s High Fiber Chicken Tuscany Soup with some hospital grade saltine crackers.

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I started thinking this morning… What do I want to give up for Lent? For those of you who don’t know, Ash Wednesday starts the 40 days of Lent. Ideally, we, as Catholics, try to give something up during these days to better ourselves and to feel like, we, too, are sacrificing something.

Growing up, I always gave up things like chips or soda in an attempt to “be healthy.” But this year, I’m giving something up that is going to be a BIG challenge! I’m giving up the things I spend a ton of money on, and eat entirely too many of. Its one of the items that I binge the most on. Protein bars. I’m an addict. I get twitchy when I see one and impulsively buy it! I run to my car and scarf it down. I’m on the run all day long and by the time I get home an want to enjoy REAL food, I’ve already eaten my days calories in bars. These things truly are my weakness and I know this is going to be a challenge. I’m not giving up snack bars or fiber bars because they are so great for clinical mornings, but I know I need to do this. I need to prove to myself that I am in control of my life, my eating habits…

To say “see ya later” to the bars, I enjoyed 3 today: a Lemon Zest Luna bar, a Chocolate Peanut Butter Special K Protein bar, and a Fruit and Nut Delight KIND bar. Wow! This is going to be rough! I think the KIND bars are going to be the hardest to refrain from, especially the Peanut Butter & Strawberry (I review it here) and the Almond Cashew and Flax.

I forget my veggies for lunch today, so after clinical I stopped by Wawa and picked this up:  Veggies with Light Ranch Dip. I  added a handful of Dutch Cocoa Sumersault snacks for dessert (I love these things! Dutch Cocoa and Cinnamon are my favorite flavors.) WP_001142

What a great packaged snack! I was so surprised by how fresh and crisp the veggies were and the sugar snap peas were so sweat! My dad would have loved this!

Today, as sleepy as I was, I completed Day 3 of the Couch to 5K Challenge. My chest, but especially around my shoulders, were really sore today because of yesterday’s upper body weight training.

Dinner tonight was nothing spectacular. In fact, it was not that attractive, nor very impressive. I ate a Lean Cuisine: Fajita- style Chicken Spring Rolls. It definitely does not look anything like its picture.

It actually reminded me of the taquitos you buy from 7-Eleven when your drunk and have the munchies. I ate these with some chunky salsa to try to improve them a bit.

I plan on some hard core cramming tonight and tomorrow.

Wish me luck ( on both my exam and my Lenten Promise)!